for the memorial of nelson mandela. >>> plus, more dead pilot whales in florida. the man who snoozed got trapped on a plane. and miley cyrus does the unthinkable to santa. "early today" starts right now. >> announcer: this is "early today" for monday, december 9th. >>> good morning. i'm richard lui. we start with weather for you. that massive winterer weather system moving east and the car pileup. nbc's leanne gregg has more on the deep freeze. >> reporter: snow and ice bearing down this morning in the northeast, part of a massive system affecting half the country. that same system sunday in wisconsin caused a deadly pileup in whiteout conditions and shut down interstate 94. >> to the best of my knowledge, there is probably in excess of seven semis and 30-plus vehicles. >> it was bad, like you could barely see on the road. >> reporter: ice made driving impossible in parts of kentucky. >> i can deal with snow all day long but when it comes to freezing rain i don't even want to touch it. >> reporter: across the nation, airports canceled 3,000 flights. snow so heavy it caused this roof to collapse.